Grateful Dead Live at Carousel Ballroom on 1968-06-19
- Live concert
- Grateful Dead
- DeadLists Project
This is a very strange show. The start of Lovelight is clipped, with the recording improving from what is a ragged condition at first. The sound system has technical difficulties, with an intermittent buzz during portions of Lovelight from a bad electrical connection. There is some minor static at 9:30 of the first track. The vocals are very low in the mix, and difficulties with the sound system might explain a lack of singing during the second set, though the jams are very inspired. The recording includes a group chant between sets, which may include members of the band, crowd, a woman who sounds like Grace Slick, a child, an imposter-drummer, security etc.
- 2004-06-23 13:01:08
- SBD > MC > D > CD
- San Francisco, CA
- Taped by
- Transferred by
- Carousel Ballroom
The Celestial Synapse - a great tidbit of Dead history.
Subject: The Celestial Synapse 2.19.1969 - I was there
Words can't convey what happened at The Celestial Synapse. Between the Grateful Dead sets, Steve Gaskin blew his counch shell and the 3,000-4,000 hippies, most stoned on acid, began chanting 'aum' and 'we are all one'. Literally and figuratively, that was the high point of the evening; and, for me, the era itself.
One observer (who was straight) later said 'it was the most pagan thing she had ever seen'. For me, the event was holy. It all depended on where your head is at. It still does.
I never expected to hear again what happened that night. But tonight when I happened onto this recording I realized, again, the miracle that IT IS.
We are all ONE
Subject: Hunter Thompson
THIS is one of those shows you feel privileged to be able to hear, like so many "lost" shows you read about and drool (Mickey's first show, for instance), but know in your heart that you'll never get to hear it. And even this one comes to us via a mislabeling that doesn't seem to have kept anyone from finding it, but I think the evidence is pretty clear even by simply listening to the show this is absolutely '69 Dead.
Don't be put off by the sound problems Lovelight goes through initially - the sound eventually gets all its bugs out - while it's hardly crystal-clear, it will certainly do. A lot through this early part of the set Mickey and Billy's percussion simply takes over, and the jam drifts and wafts and fades 'on' and 'off' at almost sheer random intervals. And how about that Pigpen singing a very, VERY hard-driven Not Fade Away on his own!
All that "celestial synapse"-Jam stuff in the middle, the chanting and whatnot, is interesting, certainly different, but ultimately kind of hippie-ridiculous. If you want to really hear how audience participation can enhance and actually uplift the Dead's sound, check out Mike Martin's AUD of 10/22/78, during the Ollin Arageed - *that*, my friends, is transcendence in music - not all this pseudo-Indian, post-acid-test, we're-so-enlightened-whatchamacallit. The kids that get a hold of the microphone during the droning pretty much sum it up with that "Scooby-Doo dum dum" :) Got to hand it to those little guys; they seem like the most intelligent beings in the room for a while there....
The goods come in spades when the boys come back out a solid 45-50 minutes of pure jam - that Other One stuff during the final ten-fifteen minutes is sheer, shredding madness! There is another guitarist onstage - Jorma, Duncan, someone or other...awesome stuff, so unique you can't possibly pass this up!
Subject: Weird shit
Subject: second jam
Subject: INCORRECT DATE---2/19/69
THE GRATEFUL DEAD
Celestial Synapse 1969 [no label, 2CD]
Live at Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, February 19, 1969. Good to very good soundboard.
Though this show has circulated as June 19, 1968 at the Carousel, as Tom Shyman explained when he shared the lossless
tracks on the Dime site, this is actually the Celestial Synapse at the Fillmore West on February 19, 1969. The following are
notes provided by Shyman:
From Mike Dolgushkin:
The show that circulates as 6/19/68 is misdated. It’s actually 2/19/69 - the Celestial Synapse at the Fillmore West.
I listened to it not long ago and thought “no way this is June of ‘68.” It sounded real close in time to the Live Dead stuff, and
you can hear TC [keyboardist Tom Constanten] poking out of the murk from time to time. Plus, it includes both Not Fade
Away and The Main Ten, which started appearing on a more/less regular basis in April of ‘69.
What clinched the date was reading the Rolling Stone review of the Celestial Synapse in the booklet that came with the
Fillmore box set. It describes everybody in the Fillmore getting naked and crazy at about two in the morning, among them
Don McCoy from Olompali, who took the stage and started rapping. Bill Graham had to keep the security people from
pulling him off. Anyway, on this tape, after Lovelight, you hear a bunch of whooping and hollering, after which someone
gets on stage and announces “Hi, my name’s Don McCoy.” Apparently the date that’s written on the vault copy is hard to
read; Dick originally thought it said 8/29/68. Another mystery solved. Tell your friends!”
It then goes on to list the exact notes which are written at the bottom of this page.
Subject: Not the first NFA
Subject: FIRST Not Fade Away!!! Last “Carousel”
This is the first Not Fade Away, and is the only NFA of 1968. They didn’t play it again until December ’69.
The 20-minute Lovelight is looong. There’s a lot of it is vamping, not as much jamming.
The 20-minute chanting is reminiscent of the acid trips of 1965-66 (some of them are here at Archive.org). It does sound like Grace Slick singing 7 minutes into it. And it sounds like Bill Graham giving orders just before 21 minutes, trying to get the show started again.
The jam after the Main Ten isn’t exactly solid gold. It has moments of brilliance and other times where it isn’t going anywhere.
The Other One jam is the best jamming of the show. Jerry and Phil are dancing around each other for most of it, a real duet, driving and powerful. (The organ is barely audible, unfortunately). This was much longer than the Other Ones they had been playing at the time. (Possibly the first time without Cryptical Envelopment?)
Also of historical interest is that this is the last Dead show at the Carousel Ballroom before Bill Graham renamed it Fillmore West. All shows at this venue after this are listed as Fillmore West. I wonder if this was some sort of special event to mark the beginning of Bill Graham’s new venture.
(Graham had moved out of the original Fillmore Auditorium on Geary Blvd. at this time. The original Fillmore Auditorium was reopened in the ‘90’s. The Carousel Ballroom/Fillmore West is now a Honda dealership.)
Subject: who else is playing
Besides Bobby it sounds like there's a 3rd guitarist on & off, earlier in these jams. cipollina sounds likeliest. the scraps of electric organ & congas are probably pigpen.
i hear lots of dark star-like jamming but no statement of dark star. they're not in the right key, either.
hot hot jams for sure
Subject: who else is playing?
And of course, like everyone else here has mentioned, the jamming is exceptional. It's almost as if the vocals/P.A. cut out or weren't working properly so they just said 'fuck it' and went off
Subject: Technical difficuties, schmechnical difficulties...
Subject: Don't remember much of it
How's that for a review?
Subject: a blaze of jamming
Subject: Thank You
I was on this deadlists thing and there were alot of outdoor stuff that I guess is unaudible or it just dosen't exist on a recording or whatever.
It's a shame.
Not Fade Away, how many times did you hear that from 68'.
Subject: they drew open the curtains
Subject: Jazz is Dead
Subject: Freaking Phantastic (required listening I mean it - you dont pass go without this)
This show on the other hand is brimming with so much whacked out positivity and offbeat wierdness and spacey electric vibes it is impossible to prevent it from connecting directly with your cosmic taproot. This is what it's all about and personally I can overlook the crap sound for this - When you are listening to the Main Ten close your eyes and suck up the sounds and breath in the Mexican dope and that electric sweat you get when you are dosed, smell the pichouli and clove cigarettes - It's all here. Look up and see the gelatin prints above the stage swirling with different colors. If you listen closely all of this will come to you as it did me on the backs of your eye lids.
My favorite line of the whole chant is someone saying to another guy 'no bro thats no you thats the drugs'. Questions?
Subject: Great show, bad SBD.
Unfortunately, the SBD quality of this show is very lackluster. It's not as bad as 2/2/69 to be sure, but that hum from the board due to a bad electrical connection during Lovelight and the (first ever) NFA is very annoying. But it's a very interesting show, no doubt about that. Because of this factor, it's worth the download. But get the Lossless version.
Subject: must have
Subject: Wear your Chicken Shoes and your meat helmet
Subject: The chant!!!
The Chant is really a meditation with a little kid that's singing that "scooby-dooby" thing with it.
Than you hear a tripped out "hippie" get up at the mic. and try to sing Lovelight (a little)...than you hear him be (reluctantly) escorted off.
Bill Graham's voice is also on the stage this night.
Somethin' tells me the Kool-aid was ripe that night.
Subject: holy OTHER ONE batman!!!!!!
the main ten->jam is a monster, and the other one jam is down right prehistoric beast. i've heard some creshendo endings with everyone falling on the one, but this takes the cake for that element.
it's a must read. only four stars for partial material.
Subject: primal stuff
the recording is certainly not perfect, and the vocals are very low...however the second disc SHOULD be part of your collection, esp. the jam following the Main Ten!